Wednesday, April 30, 2014

"There's a book in this!"

Today my kid invited me to tag along on her Engineering group field trip to the local landfill. I've learned never to pass up that sort of opportunity because something useful will come of it. I was right!

I learned:
- it's a landfill, not a dump. Landfill people dislike the D word. In my state, dumps are illegal, and they offer no protection for earth, air or water. Landfills have strict regulations, and a lot of  engineering goes into meeting them.
- those plastic grocery bags are worse than I'd thought. They blow around at dumps. I already knew they're terrible for our lakes and oceans, they are unrecyclable, and they don't break down into compost like paper bags can. 
- There is beauty even at the landfill -- my daughter found a tiny perfect heart rock for me.
- my work-in-progress picture book about a (shhh, it's a secret!) needs more work, and probably more research.

Of course I took along a sketchbook. 

Our tour guide seemed a little nervous at one point when she noticed I was taking copious notes. I hurried to explain that I was writing a kids' book, and this was just research for it.
(The last Engineering group field trip was to a special top-secret facility where the kids had to produce picture IDs to enter and parents had to wait outside.)

She relaxed and said most people don't take notes on her tours.
If people knew what power the almighty pen wields, they might scrutinize children's book authors more.
But I am harmless, and she must think so too; she offered to send me a poster showing a detailed cross section of the landfill.

1 comment:

Ann Finkelstein said...

There's so much to learn on field trips. I wonder if the students realize that.